Among the unicorn startups out there, few stand anywhere near SpaceX in terms of valuation and public interest. But the interest is not solely focused on what the company will do next. People also want to invest. There is so much interest that a petition for SpaceX to raise has received over $8 million in pledges within hours of appearing.
Chris Lustrino, the founder and CEO of crowdfunding investor site Kingscrowd wrote to his subscribers about the petition, calling SpaceX “one of the most exciting start-ups in existence” and saying, “I know that I would love the opportunity to invest in SpaceX – but that opportunity has never happened.”
The petition launched by Spaced Ventures seems to be that opportunity. The petition asks SpaceX to raise capital online, and the pledges have already risen from $8 million to over $12 million. And chances are, it is rising at this very moment as it looks to meet the $25 million goal set on the site.
Of course, there are no guarantees that SpaceX will respond to the petition, which Lustrino also pointed out. However, the strong response proves that plenty of people are chomping at the bit for a chance to throw in with the innovative startup.
The way it works is that Spaced Ventures asks for pledges from the public, which in this case is for investing in SpaceX. When the interest reaches a certain level, Spaced Ventures reaches out to the company in question and turns pledges into investments if they raise through its platform.
The goal is to bring interested investors together for specific companies, which are often private. While the companies might not think they need public money, it is a way to show the interest out there and create an opportunity.
While the rapid pledging of funds is exciting, what many people are paying attention to is what it would mean if SpaceX accepted the petition. Regardless of whether SpaceX agreed to public equity crowdfunding or decided to open its shares to a secondary market for private securities, it would represent a major milestone for equity crowdfunding.
On top of that, if SpaceX and similar companies started accepting public investment, securities sold to retail and accredited investors would have greater potential to be traded on Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs). Moreover, some ATSs have recently received operational permission from regulators regarding private securities and digital assets.
To highlight the growth of equity crowdfunding, it raised $113.52 billion in 2021 according to Pitchbook. That is a year-on-year increase exceeding 1000%. As for the private securities market, it reached $7 trillion in 2021 as reported by Forbes, and it is only expected to grow.
There is a lot of excitement around the potential the Spaced Ventures’ petition could unveil. Shari Noonan, CEO and Co-Founder of Rialto Markets, is among those keeping a close eye on things. According to her, “If exciting privately held tech companies in frontier markets, such as SpaceX, were to accept retail and accredited investors in their growth stages this would signal a massive and symbolic change in investment for private securities.”